Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) issue, Anxiety issue, or what????

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TexasTornado, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. TexasTornado

    TexasTornado New Member

    Well my son made it through the day!
    I was crossing my fingers and toes today-my son was up all night making his valentines day cards and presents for the teachers. He was so excited, but I was nervous if he would handle things well today with all the excitement. But he did!!!!YEAH!!!
    BUT-he comes home and empties all his treats and then says he doesnt want anything-as it all has kids germs on them???WHAT????
    Things like this I am noticing more and more and I dont know what the cause is so I dont know how to help him through this-hes picking scabs obsessively to bleeding all over etc, many things like this. The candy thing just blew my mind though....I TRY and talk abt it with him and he gets very frustrated and upset with my questions....
    Any ideas out there?
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Kathy, Sometimes Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids are so literal that it boggles the mind. It could be Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or anxiety. I'd treat the symptom in this case.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Kathy, is he on any medications? Is he seeing a board-certified child psychiatrist? If not, you might want to consult one.
  4. TexasTornado

    TexasTornado New Member

    Thanks for the replies.
    As far as the picking the scabs deal-how would you all handle that type of thing-I just usually try and refocus him on his fav topics etc, cover with bandades-LOLOLOL. But its a problem when Im not ard, or when hes by himslef. I even caught him upstairs trying to remove a filling way past bedtime, caught him 4 times with tweezers-actually digging etc. -saying he just didnt like it anymore-didnt like how it looked(hes had it for abt a year)???
    He is seeing a child psychiatric. He is on Adderall, and Celexa.
    Do you all think hes depressed or something like that? Ive called the doctor-but havent heard anything back yet....
  5. OTE

    OTE Active Member

    Sure. I personally wouldn't call this Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). At least not to the extent that it is separate from the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). It is much more likely part of the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). More likely, for whatever reason, he has formed an "obsession" around germs. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) folks can have "obsessions". Typically these would be something like lining all the trains up in a perfectly straight line. In their minds there is black and white, no grey. So there is a perfectly straight line which is right and anything else is wrong. It's somewhat different from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in that the "obsession" of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) arises more from black and white thinking than from unknown sourced urges. But it can also arise in Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in the form of a limited interest. That is, that the child may become interested in trains to the exclusion of cars, boats or anything else. So until you actually understand your child's thinking more clearly you won't know how to handle this. Obviously, meltdowns and rages come from abruptly removing the item of obsession. In this case, forcing him to eat that which he has determined to be unsanitary. In the same way, transitions can be difficult for a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) child because they are "obsessed" with what they are doing and it is being ripped away from them.

    The picking scabs thing, in my mind, could be more of an Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) issue. That is, the texture of the scab is not comfortable to him so he tries to remove it. I trained my Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) son early on that a bandaid must be on any boo boo early on. Now in his mind it's entrenched so that the tiniest speck must have a bandaid. I actually did that to prevent him from removing the bandaid and the antibiotic underneath it. Again, he would take it off because it was an odd touch sensation. Now he almost believes that band aids cure and remove pain from anything. LOL.

    My overall point here is that as you learn more about Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) it becomes easier to see what's going on with them. So these behaviors that now seem odd become understandable. Or maybe I've just totally lost my mind... it's one of those two.

    My guess on the refusing to answer questions is that he's not self-aware or verbal enough to explain why. 8 really is young to be able to explain why a feeling is there. Frankly, sounds like he's got fabulous social skills and that puts him way ahead of many other Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids. Mine came home with tons of valentine cards and those didn't even occur to me. I'm kicking myself like crazy now. My Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) son's social skills aren't there to realize that he should have reciprocated and that he should have anticipated this. I'm sure the teacher told him it would happen but if it's not a paper in front of him to work on...it's just jabber. LOL And lack of reciprocity... what's that? LOL
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    My difficult child's anxieties were initially helped by Celexa then side effects gradually increased. It wasn't until we pulled him off that I realized just how much it was impacting him in the negative sense. I'm not saying that is your situation but toss it out for consideration.
  7. OTE

    OTE Active Member

    HUH??? He's on adderall and celexa??? For Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)??? YIKES!!!

    Adderall alone would make him pick at things like that. It's a stimulant. It will make him aggitated. So any little thing like that that is bothering him will become more annoying and sure he'll do anything to get rid of it.

    The Celexa would be for the possible anxiety disorder.

    Are you seeing a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) specialist for these medications? What kinds of behavior caused these medications to be prescribed? Sorry, I am certainly not a neurologist much less a developmental neurologist but separating the "anxiety" and "hyperactivity or distractability" that goes with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) from the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) itself is a specialist issue. No one in cyberspace could comment on medications or diagnosis. I'd just take a really hard look at that. Also given the genetic correlation of BiPolar (BP) and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) to put a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kid on adderall is a big step. Most psychiatrists wouldn't like to try to distinguish BiPolar (BP) from unipolar depression at this age anyway, but to eliminate BiPolar (BP) in a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kid is very hard. And then to prescribe medications for both ends of the spectrum of BiPolar (BP) at this age unless there's very extreme inability to function.... and in a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kid, much less one with good social skills??? Guess I'm missing the background of severity that drove a doctor to these medications. Anyway, suggest you take a hard look at those medications in a young child.

    Gee SRL, didn't even see your reply and yet we both had the same ?
  8. TexasTornado

    TexasTornado New Member

    How funny about the bandaide:)I think you are right on in this-its the black and white thinking here. I remember when I was asking him what was wrong with the candy he said "Valentines Day isn't a day abt candy MOM! Its a day to GIVE cards and stuff!!!"LOLOLOLOL Doesnt give any thought to the fact that HE gave candy with HIS cards-LOLOL. Its just not done PEROID I guess????LOLOLOL
    He does have an obsession with Bees-anything in the bee family-thinks they are his only friends-he'll play with them, love on them, let them sting him-doenst mind, hunts them, has bee anything plasterd ard his whole room, tries to bring them inside. This is HIS "thing"
    And yes, he is VERY verbal-if its abt something he wants to talk abt -if not you wont get it out of him except for a "hmpft"
    So-yeah he was probably getting frustrated as he couldnt put his thoughts into words etc. and it DEFinetly wasnt something he wanted to talk abt;)
    Ive done SOOOO much research about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)'s to the point of nausia-and it seams Im still learning things every day abt my son-how is that ???? ;)LOLOLOL
  9. TexasTornado

    TexasTornado New Member

    wow-really???Okay-Im going to have to research them and talk to his doctor abt the medications then......
    He was put on Adderall first as he was poking, and pushing his neighbors at school-he was mainstreamed then. He was doing it at home too-and it was all impulse-someone gets in his space and instead of using his words he pokes or scratches etc, when hes walking past somoen or by someone-and then ist GONE-its totally an impulse thing so I thought. He then gets disciplined at school-and he doesnt even rememebr wht he did to deserve the discipline etc.
    He DOESNT have good social skills AT ALL. He talks with me-but not his siblings, dad, etc. Peers-NO WAY. He prefers to play by himslef in his room, or ALONE on a playground-he wont even get on the playground if their are other kids on it. But he doesnt have social pragmatic skills at all, cant read faces, jokes, wont have an ongoing discussion-cant-simply breaks in with his fav obsession topic etc. gets lost in the reg classroom with reg teachers instructions etc.
    The Celexa is a new thing-abt 3 months is all. For his anxiety abt any new thing, any performance change, routine change etc.
    He is being seen by a child psychiatric at a Childrens Hospital-who Ive been told has extensive experiance with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) children-so I thought he was medically managing right? no? The impulse hitting, scratching thing totally dissapeared when he was first put on it-now its starting to not be as effective. With teh Celexa-I havent really noticed a change in his anxiety levels-which are still quiet high...????
    Guess I need to talk with him abt this....
    Thanks agn everyone:)
  10. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Just a caution: when I talked to my difficult child's doctor his solution was to increase the dosage of the Celexa and add a medication to counter side effects. I'm not saying steps like that aren't necessary sometimes but not on the first medication trialed.

    That was the day he became difficult child's former doctor.
  11. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    A major side effect of amphetamines is anxiety. Adderall is an amphetamine. Another side effect of long term chronic use of amphetemines is depression. Adding drugs to treat those side effects rarely helps in the long run. The only way to get rid of the side effects is to discontinue the amphetamines.

    The Celexa has a whole bunch of possible psychiatric side effects which include anger, agitation, aggression, hostility and even violence. It made my 15 year old psychotic.
  12. oceans

    oceans New Member

    When my difficult child was on stimulants he was picking and rubbing his skin off. I was told that it could be a side effect from the stimulant, and it stopped when we removed the stimulant.
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It's worth considering whether medications are part of the problem but difficult child 3 does this whether on stimulants or off them. I've put it down as part of the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and we deal with it by checking him over for large wounds and putting band-aids on anything that he's worrying at. We've now had to graduate to serious band-aids for serious wounds - you know ,the ones that are waterproof, supposed to be left on for days and are gel-filled. He still prods at the band-aid but at least the wound has a chance of healing before he gets at it again. I think part of the problem also is the tight feeling in a healing scab.

    The social thing - is there a local group of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids you could get him into? Even if it's just one other kid that he can get along with (and we've found a few - it's usually the exceptionally bright but younger kids we've found difficult child 3 can get on with best). It improves social skills on both sides - the other kid learns to adapt to a friend with a disability, they learn tolerance but also to NOT try to fix everything themselves. We have a local group of teens with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) who go bowling together.

    And yes, distraction can work for a time, if they're picking. but at some stage they'll be on their own and they will pick.

    The germ phobia thing - you can point out several things to him:

    1) We NEED germs in our life, to keep our immune system active and healthy. If we eliminate all germs we also eliminate our daily reinforcement of our defences. A castle under long-term siege will have all attention focussed on strong defences, walls in good condition and boiling oil at the ready. A castle NOT used to battle, however, will have the ladies doing needlework instead of rolling bandages; the men working the fields or out hunting instead of being home making more arrows. If an enemy comes up to the ready castle, they will have a difficult job to try and take the castle; an enemy with the unprepared castle could just walk right in and take over - a bloodless coup.
    Our bodies' defences are very similar. Most germs are good or benign. Very few bad ones are around and most of them are related to ordinary, not threatening ones, so our bodies already have some level of defence in place if we know their weaker cousins. But if we obsess about antibacterial sprays, wipes and whatever, we are damaging our own ability to defend ourselves. A kitchen should not be as sterile as an operating theatre. It should be clean, but not sterile. Some cross-contamination can be avoided by careful practices (such as not using the chopping board after you've cut up raw meat on it - wash the board thoroughly, scrub it and scald it), but you can't expect to have a germ-free peanut butter sandwich.

    2) If the sweets are wrapped then the wrapping should be sufficient protection against human handling. But if the sweets are NOT wrapped, most sugar sweets can be rinsed to wash away the outer layer of sugar (but only do this immediately before eating the sweet). However, something really important to remember - sugar, concentrated sugar, is naturally antibacterial. It's simply too concentrated for bugs to survive unless they're the kind that form spores. Basically, osmosis means that the concentrated sugar in a sweet dries out any bacteria on the surface. If the sweet is dry, so much the better (that's why you eat it as soon as you wet it, if he insists on washing it). Pure honey is antibacterial, despite having growth factors (you can use honey as a rooting hormone dip for plant cuttings). A big reason for honey being antibacterial - it's concentrated.
    Do you have sugar syrup drinks? Have you noticed that if you leave them as concentrates, they keep well, but as soon as you water them down they will begin to go off.

    I hope this helps.

  14. OTE

    OTE Active Member

    Marg, in my humble opinion this is another cultural thing. In the US we have anti-bacterial everything. They make countertops, cutting boards, floor cleaners, laundry detergents, even shoes now, not to mention hand soaps and so forth antibacterial. So society is kind of telling us that kids should be bacteria free. To an 8 yr old with black and white thinking then when he thinks there are germs on something... if bacteria is bad... I hear you and happen to agree that having everything bacteria free or with some chemicals in it to make it bacteria free isn't healthy. Frankly, I use very few of the products that are bacteria free. I'd also note that despite this my kids very rarely get ill. They might get a cold or flu that's going around once or twice a year but that's it. Think pink eye went through my house once many years ago. My older two didn't get the chicken pox vaccine and got that in late elementary. Anyway, people do make the argument that you do including many peds. But culture aka companies who sell this stuff, would have us believe that we shouldn't ever have a bacteria in the house.
  15. TexasTornado

    TexasTornado New Member

    Thanks for all the replies everyone.
    The medication aspect of this has always, always been so confusing to me. One thing will cause the thing you want helped, and then with all the side effects-what is worth what????!!!!
    I asked difficult child if he wanted me to wash them-and he will have none of it-so I guess if its okay with him, its okay with me. He doesnt think I can get rid of the germs on the packages no matter what I say and so its a firm NOPE still. Tonight a neighbor brought over some sugar cookies and he is all into them-I guess in his eyes these are OKAY-Naturally the candy in the package is more sanitary-but theres no convincing him of this;)LOLOLOL
    Im thinking its a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) thing as well.....maybee no medication can help with this-I gues Ill just watch this and monitor.....
    The stimulant medication really seamed to help when it was first started so I dont know.
    Im looking into Mental health social classes for difficult child.
    Im in the process of switching psydocs. At the last apt(with the new) he mentioned Resperidol, and the previous doctor had said that that we were not there yet...So I have no clue.
    Im not medicating with resperidol simply so the staff at school can handle him better-I dont have the serious aggressive issues they have at home. I just refuse to do it-Ill bring him home before I do that.
    These things are new things and we have been on the medications awhile-I just thought it was weird as they seam to be increasing somewhow?And we havent changed anything..... Most of the things seam to increase dramatically at school-which I am confused abt as well. I have offered suggestions that work at home. They dont apply them-so Im just frustrated as I dont know what they want from us, and Im only too happy to help, but they wont let me.
    Well hey-how is that for turning my own thread all ard and upside down;)LOLOLOL
    Oh can anyone tell me what pscychotic or manic is-Ive seen these words before-but dont exactly understand them completely:)Maybee some symptoms or things?
  16. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Frustrations at school could very well be fueling his aggression there. Most of us "get" our kids after awhile and create the best possible environment we can for them to thrive. Schools don't always do that.
  17. OTE

    OTE Active Member

    Psychosis and mania come up in BiPolar (BP). Suggest you read some about BiPolar (BP). It's something you really need to know about. My favorite sites are
    bpchildresearch. org and

    become familiar with the terms in this world, the symptoms and particularly, the cautions about using stims when BiPolar (BP) cannot be eliminated. That would be my real concern if I were you right now.
  18. TexasTornado

    TexasTornado New Member

    okay will do-thanks agn for everyones help in this:)Ill def be going to those sights tonight. No one has ever mention BiPolar (BP) to me....so really I dont know anything about it....Ill do some looking into.
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Be careful as my son was misdiagnosed with bipolar when he actually is on the Spectrum. It's not uncommon. My son has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified and I disagree that a psychiatrist would be much help. I doubt most kids on the Spectrum would understand therapy, they are SO literal and they are different and have strange reactions to things (and, yes, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) behavior is part of the spectrum) as is ADHD behaviors, BUT there are no medications for Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)'s. My son got worse on them and now he's medication free and actually a very calm, laid back child. No, he didn't start out that way, but Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is one of those rare disorders where the children tend to get better, not worse, especially with school interventions. My son no longer exhibits any ADHD behaviors. He is still very literal. He can get very upset over things that seem silly to "typical" kids. If we take a new route to his school, for example, he will get all upset and say, "You're supposed to go that way, not this way!" I'd wonder about the medications making him even more Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)/anxiety-laden. My son got mean and aggressive on all stims, and he's NOT like that. On antidepressants he kept jumping off his desk, insisting he could fly...lol. Psychiatrists seem to have little knowledge of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified or Aspergers, since it's a neurological disorder, not psychiatric. Good luck :smile: